Sudan agrees on aid entry through new border crossings

KHARTOUM, March 7: The Sudanese government on Wednesday said it has allowed the humanitarian aid to enter through new border crossings, including one with Chad, in a bid to alleviate an imminent widespread hunger in the war-torn country, reported Xinhua, quoting the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“Based on the Sudan government’s responsibility towards its citizens in the different parts of the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the United Nations of the government’s approval to use the Al-Tina crossing with Chad for entry of specified humanitarian aid to El Fasher,” the capital city of North Darfur State, the statement said.

The ministry further indicated that the international organisation could use other routes, including a land crossing on the border with Egypt, and a river route from South Sudan, in addition to the airports of Port Sudan, capital of the Red Sea State, El Fasher, South Kordofan State’s capital of Kadugli and North Kordofan State’s capital of El Obeid.

The ministry renewed the government’s commitment to facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to the affected people across the country through ports, crossings and airports within the national borders.

The Sudanese government’s decision came following widespread international criticism of Khartoum’s decision to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid through the crossing with Chad on the pretext that it is being used to transfer weapons to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The World Food Programme  (WFP) has warned that the ongoing war in Sudan for nearly 11 months ‘risks triggering the world’s largest hunger crisis’ in a country that is witnessing the world’s largest displacement crisis.

“The people of Sudan have been forgotten. Millions of lives and the peace and stability of an entire region are at stake,” Cindy McCain, WFP’s executive director, said in a press release on Wednesday.

According to the United Nations (UN), half of Sudan’s population — some 25 million people — need humanitarian assistance and protection, with nearly 18 million people facing acute food insecurity.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF since April 15, 2023. More than 13,000 people had been killed since the fighting broke out, according to recent estimates released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.